Rebecca Armstrong: I thought I was too cool for Olympic tat – I was wrong

FreeView from the eidtors at i

Share
Related Topics

When it comes to memorabilia, I've always thought of myself as a bit of a refusenik. Official momentos often fall on the wrong side of cool, and I like to think I see through the marketing dark arts to the cheap polyester below. When Paul Simon played Hyde Park earlier this month, I turned my nose up at the souvenir T-shirts (especially at the ones with Hard Rock Calling on them, the festival at which he appeared, because if there's one thing that's less cool than memorabilia, it's admitting you have ever had anything to do with the Hard Rock brand), even though the gig was brilliant and a night well worth remembering.

The past 18 months have, of course, been extra specially jam packed with events guaranteed to spawn commemorative objects. Last year's Royal wedding! The Jubilee! And now, of course, the big one: London 2012. I've often walked past the Olympic merchandise shop in St Pancras station and idly wondered who on earth would want to buy a stuffed Wenlock, say, or an uncomfortable-looking running top courtesy of Stella McCartney. Or, worse, replica kit that during the Games will make it look like you're trying to trick people into bed by pretending you're a competitor, and afterwards less buff buyers will look as though they're Olympians gone to seed in record time.

Then the other week my husband bought himself a Links of London 2012 Team GB Band (a woven gap-year bracelet sort of affair). I gave him some lip about how the only Olympic event he'd be eligible for would be wine-guzzling and have kept up the gentle ribbing ever since. Last week, one of my esteemed colleagues announced he was off to buy himself an official Games T-shirt after work. I rolled my eyes, took my leave and jumped on the bus home. Where I spotted a man wearing an Olympics hat. It was one of those umbrella hats that are, you know, useful for keeping the rain or sun off. Neither of which you need much protecting from on the bottom deck.

Ha! I thought. Look at me, being excited about the Olympics without buying any tat. Then I saw the T-shirt my colleague had bought. It was cool. Really cool. A replica of a Los Angeles 1984 shirt. And then office excitement about the Games reached fever pitch in the office last week. And before I knew it, I'd come out of Marks and Spencer with a Team GB T-shirt. So there it is. I'm not cool. But perhaps if I hide my T-shirt in the loft for the next 20 years, one day it will become so. Just don't tell my husband.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Errors & Omissions: the paraphernalia of a practised burglar – screwdrivers, gloves, children

Guy Keleny
The PM proposed 'commonsense restrictions' on migrant benefits  

So who, really, is David Cameron, our re-elected ‘one nation’ Prime Minister?

Andrew Grice
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?